Episode 251: Letting Go of a "Fat" Identity, Part I
Run time: 23:23
What to do when you see yourself as a fat person – how do you update your identity? Learn how your identity helps you become what you want to be, body and all.
This program is brought to you by personallifemedia.com.
On today's show, what to do when you see yourself as a fat person. How to update your identity so it serves you becoming the you you want to be, body and all.
Welcome to Inside Out Weight Loss. I'm your host, Renee Stephens, and together we are accessing and adjusting the control panel of your mind, body, spirit system, bringing ease and joy to your weight loss journey and fullness to the rest of your life.
This journey isn't about food plans and calorie counts. It is about learning to love and care for you from the inside out, so that it becomes natural and easy for you to be slim and healthy. Join me. As a former compulsive overeater, I've been where you've been and I'm here to help you create exactly what you want. It's time to take those few moments to drop down and become even more present with yourself, with your current experience.
Now, if you are new to the Inside Out Weight Loss podcast, you may be wondering why the heck do we waste all this time with this meditation business at the beginning of each episode. I mean, can't we get down to business here? We've got some weight to lose. We've got some calories to burn. Well, I completely understand the perspective. I've been there. In fact, I've made being in a hurry a personality trait. I'm so good at it.
But alas, with this type of work, in other words, your journey to naturally slender, because, by the way, that is where you're going by listening to this podcast, naturally slender, which means easy, natural to be in tune with your body. Oh, what did I just say? In tune with your bo-day. Yes. That's where the par-tay is in your bo-day and that is how you want to be. You want to be in tune with it because how on earth are you going to know how much to eat without counting things and calculating and wearing funny electronic devices attached to you.
You won't know. And, therefore, you won't be naturally slender unless you are in touch enough with your body and its signals of hunger and satiety and other signals too like, "I need renewal. I need rest. I need nature. I need music. I need belly dancing," whatever it might be. You need to be in touch with those signals of your body and that starts with being aware of you. Because it turns out, that plenty of us have trained ourselves to disassociate from our bodies, to disconnect from our bodies so that we don't feel. Why would we do that?
The only reason that I can come up with that I've ever seen is that we experience pain in the body. We experience some discomfort. That pain could be as obvious as the pain of beating yourself up because you're too fat. "Oh my God! I can't stand that role. Let me just not feel. Let me disconnect from my body," to some kind of emotional pain, some kind of negative association with being in our bodies. So we pop out and we forget that we can come back in. Because the problem with popping out is that when you're out, it's true.
You can muffle the pain, sometimes even escape it completely, but you also muffle and escape completely sometimes the pleasure. So, alas, it's being connected to you, to your body that will bring you, that will facilitate you living a naturally slender life. Which, by the way, may seem like a lofty goal, a far-away dream, but you can actually experience that today, independent of how many extra pounds or kilos you're carrying around on your body.You can live naturally slenderly, just made up that term, today simply by being in tune with your body and doing things to make your body feel as good as possible as long as possible.
So eating the chocolate covered doughnut will make you feel perhaps good, as possible in the moment, the 30 seconds that you are consuming it, but how's it going to feel afterwards, maybe 10 minutes after, half an hour, an hour later when your blood sugar is crashed? Not so good. So we're going for the extra amount of pleasure, the long-lasting pleasure, as long as possible.
Very simple, that is the essence of being naturally slender. It is available to all of us, assuming, given the condition that you can, in fact, be connected to your body. We are all born this way. We, as infants, eat when we're hungry, we stop when we're satisfied. End of story. Very simple. So we are just re-becoming what we already are. And I don't care how many times you've been around the block with the diets and the programs and the restriction and the discipline and the deprivation. Doesn't matter. Got it? Possible for you. That's the message.
So now, getting back to business, come on inside of you. Come on down. The price is right. It's free, to be more and more aware and present of your current experience. A nice way to do this, as you may already know, is to follow your breath inwards, down deep within you. If you could find the center of your own body, I wonder where that would be for you. Does it feel like a physical place in your body? And, if so, where might that be?
Allowing your awareness to simply sink down with the intention of being present in your own center. Feels so good, to simply breathe into that place as you let go with each exhalation of anything that is extraneous, no longer needed, extra. Just let it all go, simply with the desire, the intention, and if that seems not easy enough for you, just pretend. Pretend you've let it all go and that the more that you listen, the deeper and more present you become to your own experience.
Now, with that all said, I want to talk to you today about your identity. In other words, how do you see yourself with regards to your body? Do you see yourself as a fat person? Do you see yourself as a weight struggler, someone who's always challenged by it? What would it be like, or better said, who would you be that you were, are naturally slender?
Who is that you? Because it can be challenging for some of us, particularly if your struggle has been long and very emotional, very intense, your struggle with yourself and with your weight, to open your mind and really embrace the idea of being a naturally slender person, being someone who is slim easily, who's at a healthy, great weight for you and your body, whatever that might look like for you because somewhere along the way we get the idea that this is who we are, or we can get that idea.
This is who we are, or sometimes, actually there's another side to this, sometimes we can say, "Well, that's not who I am. I look in the mirror. I catch my reflection, I think, 'Oh, who's that? That's not me."" And either one doesn't work. Because if you are surprised by your identity or seeing yourself as a chubby person, then you're not dealing with reality. And if, on the other hand, you see yourself as a chubby person and that's the way you'll always be, then you're not going to easily be able to change your reality. It's going to feel odd. So what is an aspiring slimmy to do, an aspiring naturally slimmy to do? Hm? Because now we've got a problem on both sides.
If you see yourself as a chubster and you want to become a slim person, you think, "Okay, well I will start affirming to myself and picturing myself as a slim person." But then I just said that that's not going to work because there are plenty of people who see themselves as a slim person and don't acknowledge the reality of where they are now. So where do you go with that, if neither one works? Well, what do you think? What could be possible? If seeing yourself as fat doesn't work, and seeing yourself as slim doesn't work, how on earth are you going to see yourself?
To answer this question, I think it's worthwhile figuring out what the heck the self is, who you really are. You can ask yourself, "Who am I? Am I fat? A fat person? Am I a slim person? Who am I?" I invite you go even deeper with this as we take our break, and we'll be back shortly.
You know. This is your host, Renee Stephens, and you're listing to Inside Out Weight Loss.
If you are new to Inside Out Weight Loss, I suggest you begin at the beginning. You'll hear my story in the prologue and learn the key steps to the program in the early episodes. You'll find a link to the archive at insideoutweightloss.com. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click "podcasts."
We're back now. Before the break, I asked you the question to ask yourself, "Who am I? Who is this self that I can see is either fat or thin?" So let's think about it. You are someone who is aware of things happening and you know that your body can change. Your body could be fat, it could be thin, it could be slim, it could be chubby, it could be all different things. It could suntanned. It could be pale. It could be all sorts of things, vibrant and healthy. You know, lots of different things.
All of things, of course, are subject to change. And, alas, are you still you even when your body changes? In fact, your body has changed a tremendous amount during your life's time. From the moment that you're born, this little tiny, cute little baby body has become the adult that you are today. And the adult of 20 looks different from the adult of 30 and 40 and 50 and 60 and 70, and so forth. And so your body undergoes tremendous changes. If you look at someone who is very old and you look at them in their prime, they could look like very different people. You might not even recognize them.
But, alas, that person will tell you that they are the same person through all of those changes. Maybe you know someone whose appearance has changed quite a bit. You've watched someone grow up or become old or go from fat to thin or thin to fat. And is it still the same person that you know and love? Your loved ones, do you require them to be a certain appearance so that you know that they are still them and can love them? Given that we are subject to so much change, and yet there's a feeling, a sense of constancy in who we are, then perhaps we are neither the fat person or the slim person.
Perhaps who we are is something different, maybe something deeper than that. I wonder. It's food for thought, of course. But for a moment, just contemplate this question. What would it be like if I were more than the appearance of my physical body? What would that be like? What if I were more than that? What exactly am I, if that is the case? Now one reason that people become attached to their identity, even if it is an identity that they don't especially like, for example identity as a fat person, as the chubby person, is their position within their family or their group of friends.
I'm always the chubby one. Me and my sister, I'm the chubby one, she's the skinny one. In my family, I'm the one who's always good, but kind of chubby. And my brother or my sister is the good looking one. Or in my friends, with my best friend, she's the one who pulls all the dudes and I'm the smart one, or whatever it might be. Your identity can be tied to where you see your position relative to others in relationship. So if that's the case, you could open up your identity to allow you to be physically whatever it is that you want to be, to create the body that you want to live in, your best body, your healthy and vibrant body.
It might be useful to think of that relationship that you have, that place that you are in your family or social system, as a role that you are playing, as if you were an actor and this is the role that I play. Now maybe you're happy with that role or maybe you're not. Now if you wanted to change it, things can come up around that. By things I mean fears can come up around that. Well if I'm not the chubby one, then maybe they won't like me. Maybe they'll feel threatened by me, if I become the hot dude or the gorgeous babe.
Maybe I won't have the friends that I have now. That's really scary. That can be a form of resistance. And it can be easier perhaps to think, "Okay. Well this is just a role that I'm playing. And I can change that role that I'm playing." You can start there, beginning to create a little bit of separation between you and this role that you're playing. And then you can ask yourself, "Do I want to play a different role? Would I like to play a different role in this system here, in relation to my family?"
I've also had clients who maintain their extra weight because it feels, now this may sound silly, but go with me here because it's very real, where say your mother struggled with her weight or with alcohol or some kind of compulsive or addictive behavior, let's just say it's weight for the purposes of this example, and your mother has passed on. And you think, "Well, gosh. This is my way that I'm connected to my mother. This is my job is to have the same patterns that she had. That's how we connect. That's the only way that we ever really related. If I give this up, I'm going to lose that precious connection." And it can seem very scary.
Seems silly when we say it out loud, but this can be very real, can be a very real experience. This is the way that we connected in life, and this is the way that I continue a connection because my connection to my mother, however fraught it may have been during my lifetime, is precious to me. And I value it and I want it and this is how I do it. So, in this case, what would be an alternative that would be even better? I love that question, by the say. It's one of my very favorite questions.
Maybe you've heard me ask it before. Say you have a challenge or situation or a solution that's kind of sort of working, but not really. Say, "Well, what would be even better," even better than maintaining a connection that isn't serving all of you, that you just don't like. In this case, it can be really illuminating to imagine that you can invite in the spirit of your passed on loved one. And you can ask the spirit of this passed on loved one, in your own imagination, if she would like, she likes this kind of connection. Or you could say, what if we had an even better connection, a deeper connection.
Because remember a few moments ago, we were talking about how your body changes a heck of a lot and yet you still feel like you, in spite of all of these changes in physical appearance and in your body, well, the you that is underneath all of those changes is at a deeper level, one could argue, than the you who is attached to looking a certain way at a certain age. It's still you.
So, alas, what if it were an even deeper connection with your loved one, and this could actually be living or passed on, by the way, now that I think about it, which would be a connection with the real you, the you that has a heart, the you that loves, that has compassion for other's experiences, other's sufferings, as interest in the other, and also has compassion and interest in you. These are qualities that you can cultivate.
Now those qualities, I would say, because they can change too, probably aren't necessarily the you, the real self you, but that's a deeper question. But, alas, what if letting go of the connection through eating patterns or addictive patterns or physical appearance, would allow you to have an even better connection. Now I don't know exactly what that would look like, and exactly how it would play out, but I do know that if it were even better, that would be pretty darn nice. Might be something that you really enjoy. And, if not, just crank it up so that it's even better enough that you really like it.
So that's what I invite you to do this week. Maybe take a few moments to journal about it. How can I be beyond my identity as a fat person or a weight struggler person? What if the real me is a me who can have an experience as a weight struggler, can have an experience as a slim person, can have an experience as a naturally slender person, can have an experience as someone deeply connected with those that I care about and love? What if that is the real me, who has all of those experiences available to me and it's simply up to me which ones I create, and which ones I cultivate through my daily actions and thoughts. What if that were the case?
Well that brings us to the end of our show today. Thank you for being present.
Inside out Weight Loss is produced by Andrew Frame of bafsoundworks.com.
This is your host Renee Stephens and I am on a mission to end the weight struggle, enabling you to develop and share your abundant soul's gifts. Take good care.
Find more great shows like this on personallifemedia.com.
Sign up for our mailing list and get a free IOWL Companion Workbook
Whether you’re brand new to IOWL or a long time listener, this companion guide will help you get the most out of the program. Best yet, we've made this this top-selling guide available to you free of charge to help you on your way to Naturally Slender.